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Vermin problems haunted four restaurants inside a single West Palm Beach shopping plaza, and the state ordered them all temporarily shut last week.
Four eateries at the Village Commons Shopping Center – Torero’s Mexican Cuisine, Green House Pho and Boba Tea, Nara Thai Sushi Japanese and Jersey Mike’s Subs – did not escape the inspectors’ eagle-eyed scrutiny. A Checker’s in Lauderhill also was ordered shut last week.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel highlights restaurant inspections in Broward and Palm Beach counties from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. We cull through hundreds of restaurant and bar inspections that happen weekly and spotlight places ordered shut for “high-priority violations,” like improper food temperatures or dead cockroaches.
Sun Sentinel readers can browse full Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade county reports on our state inspection map, updated weekly (usually Monday) with fresh data pulled from the Florida DBPR website.
Any restaurant that fails inspections must stay closed until it passes a follow-up state inspection. If you spotted a possible violation and wish to file a complaint, contact Florida DBPR here. (But don’t contact us: The Sun Sentinel doesn’t inspect restaurants.)
5400 W. Oakland Park Blvd.
Ordered shut: Oct. 20, reopened Oct. 21
Why: Five violations (two high priority), led by 28 live flies landing on practically everything edible in the fast-food eatery: Insects “landing inside onions, sliced cheese and mayonnaise,” hovering “over cooked chicken nuggets and French fries” at kitchen’s fry station warmer, “flying around and landing inside strawberry topping” inside the ice cream mixing machine, “flying around and landing on soda dispenser machine.” Flies also hovered “around the employee restroom door,” rested “on the kitchen wall above the cooking area,” and “landed inside file cabinets” in the back office. (Were they filing paperwork?). Of course, the restaurants was ordered to stop selling its onions, sliced cheese, mayonnaise and strawberry topping “due to food not being in a wholesome, sound condition.” Inspectors discovered zero violations on their follow-up visit, and let the restaurant reopen Oct. 21.
Torero’s Mexican Cuisine, West Palm Beach
911 Village Blvd., Suite 801
Ordered shut: Oct. 19, reopened Oct. 21
Why: The state found 27 violations (eight high priority), such as an infestation of 40 live flies contaminating the storage room, “landing on flour, sugar and black beans and several clean utensils.” The restaurant was ordered to stop selling and trash its flour, sugar and black beans “due to food not being in a wholesome, sound condition.” Inspectors also spotted instances where bread and raw beef were stored inside plastic grocery bags instead of food-grade containers. The Mexican eatery was allowed to reopen Oct. 21 after inspectors found a few minor issues on their second visit.
Jersey Mike’s Subs, West Palm Beach
931 Village Blvd., Suite 907
Ordered shut: Oct. 19 and Oct. 20, reopened Oct. 21
Why: Nine violations (two high priority), including six live cockroaches crawling “behind the flattop grill” in the kitchen, as well as 60 “dead roaches under [deli] slicer machine,” “under the computer at front counter area” and “all around the perimeter wall shared with restaurant next door.” Inspectors also discovered 60 live flies landing “on menu board at front counter area,” and on “cans on a [kitchen] dry-storage shelf.” The state kept the restaurant closed on their second visit Oct. 20, when they found 10 more live flies in the dining room, landing on the walls and on cabinets beneath the soda machine. On their third visit Oct. 21, inspectors finally let the sandwich chain reopen after discovering two minor issues.
Green House Pho and Boba Tea, West Palm Beach
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Ordered shut: Oct. 22, reopened Oct. 23
Why: Eight violations (three high priority), led by 80 live flies “landing on several boxes with dragon fruits in dining-room area,” “landing on bagged bread and on plastic bags stored beneath [kitchen] prep table,” and hovering around the kitchen’s handwashing sink. The state let the restaurant reopen Oct. 23 after finding a trio of minor problems.
Nara Thai Sushi Japanese, West Palm Beach
851 Village Blvd., Suite 602A
Ordered shut: Oct. 20, reopened Oct. 22
Why: Seven violations (three high priority), such as “50 live roaches crawling all over shelf in sushi bar area where clean plates are stored,” and “crawling behind [the kitchen’s] reach-in cooler.” The restaurant reopened Oct. 22 after the state found zero issues.